Creating quality content takes a considerable amount of time. And the sad fact is, unless you have an enticing title, there’s a slim chance anyone will ever even give it a chance. So, let’s go over a repeatable process you can follow to write catchy titles for blogs.
Step 1: Choose a Topic People Care About
The first step is to write about a topic your audience wants to hear about. If people don’t care about the content, it doesn’t matter how interesting the title is.
There are a couple of methods you can use to find content ideas people care about.
The first, is keyword research. Instead of picking randomly, you can review data to determine common search queries that fit with your niche. To find out exactly how that works, you can follow our simple keyword research system.
The next, is to answer questions from your readers. If people are asking you questions, that means you’ve found content to write about that your audience cares to read about. Prioritize these questions based on the demand. If you receive several requests, write articles about the questions asked most often.
If you only have a handful, don’t let that deter you. There’s a good chance if someone has the question, others will too. Just use your judgement and answer the questions that are relevant to your audience and niche.
Step 2: Try and Stand Out
The next step is to try and be unique, stand out. You want your headline to grab attention. The internet has lots of content. Just about any industry, any niche, any topic, will have quite a bit of competition on the search results page. So, don’t blend in.
Perform Google searches with the topics you’re considering. Look at the top search results. What are the headlines? How can you stand out?
Step 3: Keep Your Content in Mind
When you write your title, make sure it’s a match for the content. The content needs to follow through on the promise given in the title.
It’s important to create a title that accurately describes the article for a couple of reasons.
First, you want your readers to trust you. You want to have a good reputation. This will help you get repeat visitors and will encourage sharing.
Next, if readers bounce it can impact rankings. If someone clicks the article from search results because it has a catchy title, then immediately leaves because the content doesn’t seem to match the title, then clicks the next search result, that is considered pogosticking. If a high percentage of people immediately leave the page and go back to look for another search result, your search ranking can be negatively impacted.
Step 4: Brainstorm Several Ideas
When you’re writing a blog title, don’t just write one and call it good. Brainstorm several ideas.
Write at least 3-5 different title ideas. If you have time, and the ideas, you can try writing even more. Some bloggers brainstorm about 30 titles for each blog article.
This might seem like a pointless activity. But, if you try it a few times you’ll find you very rarely decide on the first title idea.
Step 5: Try a Headline Formula
If you’re having problems brainstorming titles, you can always try some formulas that have proven to be effective.
Arrange your content into an ordered list. Then, create a headline that begins with a number. These list articles, or listicles, are very popular and commonly shared on social networks.
Don’t go crazy with the number of items in your list. If your list has 57 or 96 items it’s going to be overwhelming. Keep it simple. Somewhere between 5 and 11 items tend to work well.
How To Articles
How to articles are another popular type of title for blogs. These titles just start with the phrase how to and provide guidance on completing a particular task.
Since blogs are often read by people in a research stage, the how to article is a perfect fit. If the content is a tutorial or step-by-step guide consider using a title that begins with how to.
More Catchy Formulas
A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of different headline formulas. There are several good ones out there. Going through all of the available options can get exhausting though.
My favorites are from CopyBlogger. Specially, the formulas in the following three articles:
- 10 Sure-Fire Headline Templates that Work
- 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates that Work
- 9 Proven Headline Formulas that Sell Like Crazy
Even if you don’t use one of the formulas as-is, it can help generate new ideas. If you’re feeling stuck going through those formulas can get you moving in the right direction.
Step 6: Analyze the Headline
There are tools you can use to actually analyze the quality of your headline. Once you have all of your brainstorm ideas together these analyzers can be a fun way to help determine which one is best.
Here are a few headline analyzer tools you can use to assess your titles:
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
- Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Don’t let the analyzer be the determining factor. It’s good to look at them, but remember to think about what makes the most sense with the content of your article and your target audience.
Step 7: Test Different Titles
If you really want to know what works best, test it.
Test on Social Media
Schedule up your article to post on your social networks. Each time you post it, try out a different title from your brainstorm list. You already spent the time thinking of multiple ideas, you might as well get some use out of them.
Plus, it will help you determine if there is one that works better than others. Which title has the most engagement? Does one have more likes, shares, and comments than the others?
If one particular title performs best on social media, consider updating your article with that title as the main headline. Listen to your audience and adjust your website to reflect what you’ve learned.
Run a Split Test
If you receive enough conversions (you would want a minimum of 500 conversions per month) you can run a split test. You can use a tool, such as Google Optimize to actually put multiple titles on the same article.
You can set it up so half of the visitors see one title, then the other half see the other title. You can then see which group has a higher percentage of completing your desired goal.
This allows you to make an informed decision using data.
Warning: Be Careful of Click Bait
We’ve all seen articles that have a title like “All she did was give her dog a chew toy. What happened next blew my mind.” Then, you make the bad decision to click on it because you have a dog and feel like you might need to know! Then, the article doesn’t even answer the question and is clearly just a website with several ads you really don’t care about.
Don’t do this. If you use a click bait title, at least deliver on it. Provide the content your title promised.
It’s best to just avoid click bait titles entirely though. People are starting to recognize them as false promises. These titles and articles represent your brand. Make sure they portray the image you want.
Do you have any tactics you use to create catchy blog titles? Please share them with us in the comments!
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